“Thou still unravished bride . . .” —John Keats
As of yet these, too, are still unravished or
too slowly carved to call it ravishing.
Distended, urn-like, rust red, eighteen soar
above me as I inch down, ogling.
Some seem countenanced like totem poles
or tiki men atilt to ruminate
as I square round to frame their limestone souls
within the finder lest the inner state
of stone be only stone, what wind and hail
have carved respond as nothing to the eye.
And I’ll insist on thinking up the tale
of what I see here—now—and maybe why
I see them this way, beautiful, and true
as anything I’ve known or thought I knew.
“Photographing Hoodoos – Bryce Canyon” from A Tree and Gone (Future Cycle Press, 2021).
Terence Culleton is a former Bucks County (PA) Poet Laureate, a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, and recipient of First Honorable Mention in the 2019 Helen Schaible International Traditional Sonnet Contest. Terence has published two collections of formally crafted narrative and lyric poems, A Communion of Saints (2011) and Eternal Life (2015), both with Anaphora Literary Press. Poems from his forthcoming collection of sonnets, A Tree and Gone (FutureCycle Press), have recently appeared in Antiphon, The Lyric, The Eclectic Muse, Innisfree, The Road Not Taken (including Feature Poem), Blue Unicorn Review, and Raintown Review.